League of Legends

Jayce Nerfs Are a Symptom of a Flawed Design Philosophy

LeagueofLegends9 - Jayce Nerfs Are a Symptom of a Flawed Design Philosophy

I wish I posted this sooner when I wanted too, because now it's even more relevant with the nerfs on PBE.

The nerfs on the PBE right now have Jayce's Q getting hit with a 20% ratio nerf and a 20 base damage nerf. I have nothing against the nerfs, but I do want to voice a problem with the way that Jayce is getting balanced that in my opinion is hurting the champs identity.

Back when Jayce was released and I started playing him, one of the most attractive aspects of the champion's kit was that he was a jack of all trades, a fighter first, but one that could be a powerful marksman as well. Jayce was a hybrid champion that had some freedom in the way that he could be built, and he even utilized a more tanky build for a while too. Look at his kit and you can see the origin of this design philosophy. He was somewhere in between a marksman and a juggernaut in tankiness, was tankier in hammer stance, and has DoT and percent damage while melee, and a passive that encourages wacking people close up too.

The problem started when people began to build purely around his shock blast, and so as time went on, his cannon stance became the dictating factor of Jayce's strength. If he was too strong, his cannon stance needed to be nerfed, if too week, buffed. After a while, we've arrived where we are today. His HP and regen stats are that of marksmen, his secondary role is now a fighter instead of a marksman, and Riot even officially stated they are going to treat him like one during March's nerfs.


In my opinion, there needs to be more balance centered around his identity as a hybrid. Maybe this looks like harder nerfs to cannon stance and some added resistances and damage solely in hammer stance. Maybe his HP should be where it was again, and his ranged autos should be nerfed early on instead. When he's too strong in cannon stance, damage should be shifted over to his hammer stance and vise versa. I feel like that's what the core of his balance should have been. He's too oppressive? Well gut his ranged damage, increase his melee damage. Gut his mana costs, increase his melee mana regen passive to force him to take risk instead of autoing from afar. There are just so many possibilities there and it feels like only one side of his kit is even being taken into consideration. Right now it feels like his identity as a fighter is completely being neglected and as a result a whole other avenue for balance.

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It kinda sucks too because that March nerf was definitely a confirmation of a change in design. Base stat nerfs like that tend to never be reverted, too, so it's unfortunate that now he's officially been "brought in line" with marksmen and no the other way instead.

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